Want contact lenses that make your eyes dragon orange or banshee pink, or shape your pupils like a cockroach? Not without a prescription.
The Federal Trade Commission today announced a settlement with an Internet marketer and its manager for allegedly selling cosmetic contact lenses to consumers without prescriptions.
The settlement with Da Young Kim and Gothic Lens LLC requires them to pay a civil penalty of $50,000. Kim has to sell her 2008 BMW to help pay the fine (the rest will suspended because of the defendants’ inability to pay).
Under the Contact Lens Rule, which the FTC administers, sellers must verify that a consumer has a valid prescription for all contact lenses, including cosmetic lenses. Used improperly, contacts can cause corneal ulcers, corneal abrasions, vision impairment and blindness.
The settlement with the Gothic Lens defendants is the FTC’s sixth enforcement action since it issued the Contact Lens Rule in 2004.
The settlement order also prohibits the defendants from selling contact lenses without obtaining or verifying prescriptions directly from the prescribers, and requires them to maintain records of prescriptions and verifications.
Kim was represented by Robert Browne Jr., of counsel at Troutman Sanders in Chicago. The Department of Justice filed the complaint and settlement on the FTC’s behalf in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.